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Thailand courts to supervise new elections after constitutional court voids results

[JURIST] A spokesman for Thailand's Supreme Court said Tuesday that when new parliamentary elections are held, the country's highest courts will take a leading role in guaranteeing free and open elections. The announcement comes one day after the Constitutional Court of Thailand [official website] invalidated the results [JURIST report] of the country's April 2 parliamentary elections [BBC report]. The court ruled that the "organization of the election by the Election Commission [official website] was unconstitutional," because the poll was held too soon after Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official profile] dismissed parliament, preventing candidates from having sufficient time to prepare for elections.

Further information about when the election would be held and specifics of the court's oversight role are not yet available. Thaksin called elections three years earlier than expected in an effort to win support for his troubled leadership. Instead, opposition parties boycotted the April elections and not all seats were filled, forcing Thaksin to announce he would be stepping down [BBC report], though his deputy prime minister said last week that if the court annulled the election results, Thaksin would not have to adhere to this pledge. Thaksin's aides said Tuesday that he would probably run for a seat in parliament [AP report] but would not seek to serve as prime minister. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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